AS THE mercury is set to rise families are being urged to stay safe in the sun and high UV levels.
Experts at Birmingham Children’s Hospital are asking people to follow simple advice to make sure everyone steers clear of any harm.
Families are being warned that sunburn and excess exposure to sunshine, increases risk of skin cancer and getting sunburnt only once every two years has been shown to triple risk of getting melanoma cancers.
But experts say the good news is that it’s quite easy to be safe when you’re outside by taking some simple steps including:
Protect the skin with clothing, including a hat, t-shirt and sunglasses.
Spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm, when the sun is at its strongest.
Use sunscreen of at least SPF30 and make sure that it has UVA and UVB protection with a four-star rating and symbol on the bottle. Apply it liberally and frequently throughout the day.
Keep babies and young children out of direct sunlight.
Dr Chris Chiswell, Public Health Consultant at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Remember that to get the maximum benefit from sunscreen, you need to apply it more than once a day.
“Applying it only once, too thinly or not reapplying as it washes off with water or sweat, will all make it work less well. Sunscreen can go out of date, so don’t rely on that old bottle at the back of the cupboard.
“Whilst people with naturally brown or black skin are less likely to get skin cancer, you can still burn and should take the same precautions, particularly for younger children.
“Don’t forget to look after your eyes when you’re out in the sun as well; reflected light can cause damage to the surface of the eye and you should wear appropriate sunglasses on bright days, particularly when around snow, sand, concrete or water.”
Adults should apply around two teaspoons of sunscreen to cover the head, arms and neck, or two tablespoons if covering the entire body.
If someone is out in sun long enough to risk burning, they should apply sunscreen twice, 30 minutes before going out and then again just before going out.